Theology Proper: What is God Like?

Report
GBI Basics of Grace
Summer 2010
An Overview of
Systematic Theology
Why Studying Theology
is so Important
The Importance of Theology
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It is the means to a COMPREHENSIVE
framework and understanding of God and His
Word.
God has COMMANDED us to pursue a rigorous
understanding of Him, as His multiple
exhortations to teach, keep and protect sound
theology demonstrate.
Everyone lives his THEOLOGY. What we
believe informs and motivates what we do
(which is why what we do reveals far more
about what we truly believe than what we
say).
Theology Defined
Theos + logos = theology
God
+ word = word/study of God
Systematic theology is the ORGANIZED,
harmonious, arrangement of all known
truth about God and His works — based
fundamentally and primarily on
SCRIPTURE — so that the understanding
of Him is both comprehensive and
TRANSFORMING.
Theology Defined
Systematic theology will typically include at
least the following areas of study:
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Bibliology = the doctrine of the Bible
Theology proper = the doctrine of God
Christology = the doctrine of Christ
Pneumatology = the doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Anthropology = the doctrine of man
Hamartiology = the doctrine of sin
Soteriology = the doctrine of salvation
Ecclessiology = the doctrine of the church
Angelology = the doctrine of angels
Eschatology = the doctrine of last things
Bibliology:
Why is the Bible so
Important?
A Study of
the Doctrine of the Bible
Bibliology Defined
Biblos + logos = bibliology
Book + word = word/study of Scripture
Bibliology is divided into six main areas of
discussion: revelation, inspiration,
inerrancy, authority, illumination and
canonicity.
The Revelation of Scripture
Since God is infinite and man is
finite, man could not know the truth
about God unless God would chose
to tell man about Himself. Thus,
revelation is “the unveiling of God’s
truth as well as the truth unveiled.
It is the act of unveiling as well as
the contents unveiled.”
The Revelation of Scripture
God has revealed Himself in two ways —
• GENERAL Revelation
• SPECIAL Revelation
The Inspiration of Scripture
Inspiration is the process by which
Scripture was given to man through the
work of the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing the
accuracy
of
God’s
revelation
(the
revelation of God would be of no value
without such a guarantee).
“The
Scriptures are not the product of God and
man, nor of God in a man. They are the
result of God speaking through man.”
The Inspiration of Scripture
Key verse = 2 Timothy 3:16-17
• The Scriptures are “God-breathed”
• This Bible, while written by the pens
of men, is fully and finally God’s very
own Word
The Inerrancy of Scripture
“Inerrancy means that when all the
facts are known, the Scriptures in
their
original
autographs
and
properly interpreted will be shown
to be wholly true in everything they
teach, whether that teaching has to
do with doctrine, history, science,
geography,
geology,
or
other
disciplines of knowledge.”
The Inerrancy of Scripture
Biblical and logical proof for the inerrancy
of Scripture:
1. All Scripture is God-breathed and is
profitable… (2 Tim. 3:16)
2. The Word of God is truth (Jn. 17:17;
Ps. 119:160)
3. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2)
THEREFORE: the Scriptures are inerrant
The Authority of Scripture
“Authority is the triune God in selfrevelation who has the right and power to
command compliance in thought and
deed on the part of His rational
creatures.”
The Authority of Scripture
Key verse = 2 Pt. 1:2-3
Scripture is to be heeded because
every IMPERATIVE of Scripture
carries the weight of “thus says the
Lord, the unique, authoritative
speaker (Word).”
The Illumination of Scripture
Illumination is “the ministry of the
Holy Spirit whereby He enlightens
those who are in a right relationship
with Him to comprehend the written
Word of God.”
The Illumination of Scripture
• Key verse = 1 Cor. 2:12-14
• The reason the Holy Spirit is
needed to interpret Scripture for
us is that the fall made us
unable to understand God and
His Word (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14).
The Canonicity of Scripture
Canonicity is the science by which
the Jewish people and then the
early church recognized the Biblical
writings to be inspired by God at the
time of their writing.
Bibliology Applied
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Since God is revealed in Scripture, it means that God
is interested in communicating with me!
Since the Scriptures are written by God and not men,
they are fully trustworthy. Anything God says needs
to be said only once to be confessed, obeyed, trusted,
or appropriated.
Since God has written with authority, His words are
both forceful and binding.
Since God has used 40 writers over the span of 1000+
years to write the Bible, He will not give it to me and
allow me to not understand it. If I read to discern, His
Spirit will instruct me (1 Cor. 2:12).
Since God is the author of the Bible, He is to be
worshipped.
How shall I read the Bible? Read with the intent of
knowing God and His mind, not “solving problems.”
Theology Proper:
What is God Like?
A Study of the Attributes
and Nature of God
Knowing the truth of God will produce REST
and TRUST in Him.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
(Ps. 46:8-11)
“What comes into our minds when we think
about God is the most important thing about
us…For this reason the gravest question before
the Church is always God Himself, and the
most portentous fact about any man is not what
he at a given time may say or do, but what he in
his deep heart conceives God to be like.…
“…We tend by a secret law of the soul to move
toward our mental image of God. This is true
not only of the individual Christian, but of the
company of Christians that composes the
Church. Always the most revealing thing about
the Church is her idea of God, just as her most
significant message is what she says about Him
or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more
eloquent than her speech.”
Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.
What are the attributes of God?
“An attribute of God is whatever God has in
any way revealed as being true of
Himself.…An attribute, then, is a part of God.
It is how God is, and as far as the reasoning
mind can go, we may say that it is what God
is…”
Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes
have nothing analogous in God’s
created beings.
 INFINITY —God is limitless, measureless
and knows no bounds.
 ETERNALITY — God is without
beginning or end; He is free from all
succession of time; He is the cause of
time.
Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting,
You are God.
Psalm 90:2
“‘From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God,’
said Moses in the Spirit. ‘From the vanishing
point to the vanishing point’ would be another
way to say it quite in keeping with the words as
Moses used them. The mind looks backward in
time till the dim past vanishes, then turns and
looks into the future till thought and imagination
collapse from exhaustion; and God is at both
points, unaffected by either.”
A. W. Tozer.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s incommunicable attributes.
 INFINITY —God is limitless, measureless
and knows no bounds.
 ETERNALITY
 IMMENSITY— He cannot be localized
in one place. God transcends all
spatial limitations; He is present in
every point in space with His entire
being.
“But will God indeed dwell on the
earth? Behold, heaven and the
highest heaven cannot contain You,
how much less this house which I
have built! ”
1 Kings 8:27
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s incommunicable attributes.
 Infinity
 SELF-EXISTENCE — “The ground of His
existence is in Himself.”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said,
“Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent
me to you.’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus
you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God
of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My
name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all
generations.’”(Ex. 3:14-15)
“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He
gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (Jn. 5:26)
“…nor is He served by human hands, as though He
needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life
and breath and all things;” (Acts 17:25)
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s incommunicable attributes.
 Infinity
 Self-existence
 IMMUTABILITY — “God undergoes no
change in being, perfections, purposes and
promises.” God never grows, develops or
differs with Himself
 Disclaimer #1: Immutability does not imply
IMMOBILITY. God is a God who is always in
action in His relationship with man. But in His
being, attributes, purpose and promises there
is a complete absence of change.
 Disclaimer #2: When Scripture says that
God “changes” or “repents,” it does not mean
that God Himself has CHANGED.
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God does not change in relation to His
BEING (Ex. 3:14; Heb. 1:11-12)
God does not change in relation to His
PERFECTIONS (Rom. 1:23)
God does not change in relation to His
PURPOSES (1 Sam. 15:29; Dt. 28-30)
God does not change in relation to His
PROMISES (Num. 23:19)
God does not CHANGE (Mal. 3:6; Js.
1:17)
“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore
you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
(Mal. 3:6)
Every good thing given and every perfect
gift is from above, coming down from the
Father of lights, with whom there is no
variation or shifting shadow. (Js. 1:17)
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s incommunicable attributes.
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Infinity
Self-existence
Immutability
UNITY — God is numerically ONE and is
UNIQUE. All other beings exist of,
through, and unto Him. God is not
composite and is not susceptible of division
into parts. The three persons of the triune
Godhead are not parts of which the Divine
essence is composed (1 Pt. 1:2).
…yet for us there is but one God, the
Father, from whom are all things and we
exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things, and we exist
through Him.
(1 Cor. 8:6)
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s incommunicable attributes.
• God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes are not
experienced completely in man, but man
does demonstrate something of God’s
nature in him (Gen. 1:27a).
“There are many of the divine attributes that, if
God had not created the world, never would
have had any exercise — the power of God, the
wisdom of God, the prudence and contrivance
of God, the goodness and mercy and grace of
God, the justice of God…”
John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
 HOLINESS — God is “set apart, distinct,”
that is, He is free from and set apart from
sin. God’s holiness cannot and does not
tolerate sin. His holiness refers both to the
absence of sin in God and the presence of
infinite purity in Him.
“but like the Holy One who called you, be
holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE
HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
1 Pt. 1:15-16
“We cannot grasp the true meaning of the divine
holiness by thinking of someone or something very
pure and then raising the concept to the highest
degree we are capable of. God’s holiness is not
simply the best we know infinitely bettered. It
stands apart, unique, unapproachable,
incomprehensible, and unattainable. The natural
man is blind to it. He may fear God’s power and
admire His wisdom, but His holiness he cannot
even imagine.”
Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
 Holiness
 OMNISCIENCE — God is all (Latin, omni)
knowing. His knowledge is perfect and
complete, knowing all that is actual and all
that is possible. And His knowledge is
intuitive — it is immediate (not coming
through the senses), simultaneous (not
acquired through observation or reason),
actual (complete), and according to reality.
God is omniscient
 Ps. 139:1-6 — God knows all things
that actually exist.
 Mt. 11:21 — God knows all the
variables concerning things that have
not occurred.
 Dan. 2:36-43; 7:4-8 — God knows all
things that will yet transpire.
“God sees you as much as if there were
nobody else in the world for Him to look at.
If I have as many people as there are here to
look at, of course my attention must be
divided. But the infinite mind of God is able
to grasp a million objects at once and yet to
focus as much on one as if there were
nothing else but that one.”
C. H. Spurgeon.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
 Holiness
 Omniscience
 OMNIPOTENCE — God can do anything
that he wills to do and anything that is in
harmony with His perfections.
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as
nothing,but He does according to His will in the
host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth;
and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him,
‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:35)
“Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the
appointed time I will return to you, at this time next
year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Gen. 18:14)
“And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old,
who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a
thousand years;” (Rev. 20:2)
“Nothing is too hard for Him. If God were stinted in
might and had a limit to His strength we might well
despair. But seeing that He is clothed with
omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer,
no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too
strong for him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for
Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to
relieve. ‘The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom
shall I be afraid?’ (Psa. 27:1).”
Pink, Attributes of God.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
 Holiness
 Omniscience
 Omnipotence
 OMNIPRESENCE — God is everywhere
present and everything is immediately in
his presence.
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since
He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in
temples made with hands; nor is He served by human
hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself
gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He
made from one man every nation of mankind to live on
all the face of the earth, having determined their
appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope
for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one
of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even
some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His
children.’” (Acts 17:24-28)
“Make sure that your character is free from the love of
money, being content with what you have; for He
Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR
WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU” (Heb. 13:5)
“Living becomes and awesome business when
you realize that you spend every moment of
your life in the sight and company of an
omniscient, omnipotent Creator.”
J. I. Packer, Knowing God.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Holiness
Omniscience
Omnipotence
Omnipresence
WISDOM — the perfection of God whereby
He applies His knowledge to the attainment
of His ends in a way which glorifies Him
most. I.e., how God applies His knowledge.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the
wisdom and knowledge of God! How
unsearchable are His judgments and
unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS
KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO
BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS
FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE
PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him
and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Rom.
11:33-36)
“Many today who profess to be Christ’s
never learn wisdom, through failure to
attend sufficiently to God’s written
word.…What fools some of us are! — and
we remain fools all our lives, simply
because we will not take the trouble to do
what has to be done to receive the wisdom
which is God’s free gift.”
J. I. Packer, Knowing God.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Holiness
Omniscience
Omnipotence
Omnipresence
Wisdom
 SOVEREIGNTY — He is, in concert with all
His attributes, infinitely and eternally
authoritative and in control of all things and
all people.
God is sovereign
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1 Thess. 4:3; Eph. 5:17 — God’s
PRECEPTIVE will — which may be
disobeyed
Jn. 6:37-44 — God’s DECREED will —
which will always be accomplished
Dt. 29:29 — there are some things which
are known to God alone
“…ultimately, there are only two options. Either
God is sovereign and has absolute control over
the world and universe or God does not have
sovereign control, and the world and universe
carry on in defiance of His holy will.”
Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology.
“Nothing touches me that has not passed through the
hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever
occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved.
We may not know why (we may never know why),
but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who
guides our lives. He is in no way surprised by it all.
Before it ever touches us, it passes through Him.
[Moreover], everything I incur is designed to prepare
me for serving others more effectively. Everything.”
Charles Swindoll, Improving Your Serve.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
 Sovereignty
 LOVE — “The perfection of the divine
nature by which God is eternally moved to
communicate Himself. It is not a mere
emotional impulse, but a rational and
voluntary affection, having its ground in
truth and holiness and its exercise in free
choice.” [Thiessen] The object of God’s
love is ultimately not people but Himself —
that is, He loves people as an expression of
His love for Himself and as the means for
the greatest display of His glory.
“The LORD did not set His love on you nor
choose you because you were more in number
than any of the peoples, for you were the
fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD
loved you and kept the oath which He swore to
your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by
a mighty hand and redeemed you from the
house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh
king of Egypt.” (Dt. 7:7-8)
God’s Love — a summary
 Dt. 7:7-8 — His love is not earned or
merited, but is a gift of grace.
 Jn. 3:16; 13:34 — He has love for all men,
but a particular love for those who are His.
 1 Jn. 4:9ff — His love is the means by
which we love others; the reception of His
love necessitates the extension of love to
others.
“We must understand that it is God’s very nature to
love. The reason our Lord commanded us to love our
enemies is ‘in order that you may be sons of your
Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise
on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the
righteous and the unrighteous’ (Matt. 5:45; NASB).
That passage and the verses in its immediate context
refute Arthur Pink’s claim that Jesus never told sinners
God loved them. Here Jesus clearly characterized His
Father as One who loves even those who purposefully
set themselves at enmity against Him.”
John MacArthur, The Love of God.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
 Sovereignty
 Love
 JEALOUSY — The expression of God’s love
so that He works with infinite power and
authority to preserve the truth. With
regard to Himself and the truth, He is
jealous to preserve His name; with regard
to His people, He works to preserve both
them and His relationship with Him.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any
likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth
beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall
not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD
your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers on the children, on the third and the
fourth generations of those who hate Me”
(Ex. 20:4-5)
The Jealousy of God summarized
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Ex. 20:4-5 — God is jealous for His name
1 Pt. 1:3-5 — God uses His power to
protect the inheritance of His people
Hosea 1-3 — God is jealous for the
fellowship of His people.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Sovereignty
Love
Jealousy
GRACE — Grace is God’s unmerited and
undeserving favor to those who are under
condemnation (i.e., all humanity). The
great act of God’s grace is in his provision
of salvation for lost humanity.
The grace of God —
God’s grace can be distinguished from His
compassion and mercy this way —
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God’s COMPASSION is that emotion that
compels Him to have pity on those who are
estranged from Him through sin.
In His MERCY, God withholds that
judgment which the sinner rightly deserves.
In His GRACE, God gives His salvation and
imputes Christ’s righteousness to the
undeserving sinner.
“What if God, although willing to demonstrate
His wrath and to make His power known,
endured with much patience vessels of wrath
prepared for destruction? And He did so to
make known the riches of His glory upon
vessels of mercy, which He prepared
beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also
called, not from among Jews only, but also
from among Gentiles.” (Rom. 9:22-24)
“You’ll never run into a stratum in God that is hard.
You’ll always find God gracious, at all times and
toward all peoples forever. You’ll never run into
any meanness in God, never any resentment or
rancor or ill will, for there is none there. God has
no ill will toward any being. God is a God of utter
kindness and cordiality and good will and
benevolence. And yet all of these work in perfect
harmony with God’s justice and God’s judgment.”
A. W. Tozer, The Radical Cross.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Sovereignty
Love
Jealousy
Grace
PATIENCE — The expression of God’s love
in His bearing with (and withholding
judgment of0 those who persist in doing
evil and disobeying God despite both God’s
general and special revelation to them.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as
some count slowness, but is patient toward
you, not wishing for any to perish but for all
to come to repentance.” (2 Pt. 3:9)
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Sovereignty
Love
Jealousy
Grace
Patience
 GOODNESS — “That perfection which
prompts God to deal bountifully and kindly
with all His creatures.” This goodness is not
an added quality, but of His very essence
and infinite in scope. Nothing can be added
to His goodness to make Him more good.
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me
good? No one is good except God alone.”
(Mk. 10:18)
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you
will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who
seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be
opened. Or what man is there among you who,
when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a
stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give
him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in
heaven give what is good to those who ask
Him!” (Mt. 7:7-11)
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Sovereignty
Love
Jealousy
Grace
Patience
Goodness
RIGHTEOUSNESS — As a complement to
God’s holiness, God is right (His holiness)
and always does what is right in relation to
His people. His holiness is a consideration
of His inherent purity; His righteous is a
consideration of His inherently right actions.
For in it the righteousness of God is
revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,
“BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY
FAITH.” For the wrath of God is revealed
from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men who suppress the
truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:17-18)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
righteous to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:9)
“Wrath in God must not be conceived of in terms of the
fitful passion with which anger is frequently associated
in us. But to construe God’s wrath as consisting simply
in his purpose to punish sin or to secure the connection
between sin and misery is to equate wrath with its
effects and virtually eliminate wrath as a movement in
the mind of God. Wrath is the holy revulsion of God’s
being against that which is the contradiction of his
holiness. The reality of God’s wrath in this specific
character is shown by the fact that it is ‘revealed from
heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of
men.’”
John Murray, Romans.
What are the attributes of God?
• God’s communicable attributes.
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Sovereignty
Love
Jealousy
Grace
Patience
Goodness
Righteousness
TRUTH — God alone is infinitely true and
there is none like Him. He is the only true
God. Because He is true, then all that He
says and does is also true.
What are the attributes of God?
• INCOMMUNICABLE
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INFINITY
SELF-EXISTENCE
IMMUTABILITY
UNITY
• COMMUNICABLE
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HOLINESS
OMNISCIENCE
OMNIPOTENCE
OMNIPRESENCE
WISDOM
SOVEREIGNTY
LOVE
JEALOUSY
GRACE
PATIENCE
GOODNESS
RIGHTEOUSNESS
TRUTH
The Trinity of God
• Definition — God exists eternally in
three distinct and separate persons —
the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit — yet those three Persons exist
as one God. Some have even called
this doctrine “Tri-Unity,” attempting to
emphasize the oneness of God.
The Trinity of God
• God is one in ESSENCE.
This oneness is
taught in Dt. 6:4, affirming both the uniqueness
and unity of God.
“It means all three Persons possess the
summation of the divine attributes but yet the
essence of God is undivided. Oneness in
essence also emphasizes that the three Persons
of the Trinity do not act independently of one
another.” [Enns, p. 200.]
The Trinity of God
• God is one in essence.
• God is three in PERSON. That is, God does not
exist in three different ways or modes, but He
exists in three distinct Persons that are unified
as one God (e.g., Is. 48:16; 61:1).
 The Father is called God (1 Cor. 8:6)
 The Son is called God (John 1:1; Heb. 1:8-10)
 The Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:4)
The Trinity of God
• God is one in essence.
• God is three in Person.
• The three have distinct RELATIONSHIPS.
“The Father is not begotten nor does He proceed
from any person; the Son is eternally begotten
from the Father (John 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 John
4:9).…The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from
the Father and the Son (John 14:26; 16:7).”
[Enns, p. 200.]
Yet these different relationships do not imply
inferiority or superiority within the Godhead.
The Trinity of God
•
•
•
•
God is one in essence.
God is three in Person.
The three have distinct relationships.
The three Persons are equal in AUTHORITY.
“The Father is recognized as authoritative and
supreme (1 Cor. 8:6); the Son is also recognized
as equal to the Father in every respect (John
5:21-23); the Spirit is likewise recognized as
equal to the Father and the Son (cf. Matt.
12:31).” [Enns, p. 200.]
The Trinity of God
•
•
•
•
•
God is one in essence.
God is three in Person.
The three have distinct relationships.
The three Persons are equal in authority.
The three persons are all ACTIVE in the
great acts of God in HISTORY and
redemption —
The Trinity of God
• The three persons are all active in the great
acts of God in history and redemption —



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Creation (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16; Ps. 104:30)
Incarnation (Lk. 1:35)
Christ’s baptism (Mt. 3:16-17)
Atonement (Heb. 9:14)
Resurrection (Acts 2:32; Jn. 10:17-18; Ro. 1:4)
Salvation (1 Pt. 1:2)
Indwelling of the believer (Jn. 14:15-23)
The Trinity of God
“…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to
God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve
the living God?” (Heb. 9:14)
“…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus
Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and
peace be yours in the fullest measure.” (1 Pt. 1:2)
The Trinity of God
These truths combine to produce a picture of God wherein all
the members of the Godhead work together, each in their
own divine roles, to produce a people that are justified and
sanctified to forever glorify the Son.
The Trinity of God
• Three common errors about the Trinity:
 Tri-theism —the 3 persons of the godhead
are all God, but they were not one God.
 Modalism (Sabellianism) — there is one God,
but He exists in three different modes or
manifestations.
 Arianism — the Son is subordinate to the
Father — they are not co-equal — leading to a
denial of the deity of Christ.
The Trinity of God
“For not even the Father judges anyone,
but He has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all will honor the Son even as they
honor the Father. He who does not honor
the Son does not honor the Father who
sent Him.” (Jn. 5:22-23)
“There is only one fountain of lasting joy —
the overflowing gladness of God in god.
Without beginning and without ending,
without source and without cause, without
help and assistance, the spring is eternally
self-replenishing. From this unceasing
fountain of joy flow all grace and all joy in
the universe…Let everyone who is thirsty
come.”
Piper, The Pleasures of God.

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